Friday, September 10, 2010

Old Man Logan (Mark Millar/Steve McNiven)



The title, Old Man Logan, is pretty self-explanatory if you're a Marvel Comics fan. It's about Logan when he gets old. That should be pretty self-explanatory for everyone, actually. Mark Millar decided to write a Wolverine story set fifty years after all the supervillains teamed up and basically took over the world. 99% of all the superheroes are dead. Logan (Wolverine) is still around, but he lives on a farm in California, working hard to make rent payments to his landlord the Hulk, whose family of green rednecks (brownnecks?) has been threatening to eat Logan's wife and two kids. He hasn't popped his claws once since the day the heroes died, so when an aging Clint Barton (Hawkeye) comes looking to hire him as extra muscle on a cross-country smuggling trip, Logan has some thinking to do. He clearly needs the money, but has no desire to get into any of the mischief he knows the trip will bring his way. His need to support his family ultimately wins out, and the pair head for the East Coast in a rusty Spider-Mobile.

Let me just say that there have obviously been many pseudo-post-apocalyptic Marvel stories throughout the years, but this is far and away one of the best. The general consensus was that it was difficult to follow on an issue-by-issue basis as it was released, but this week Marvel put out the trade paperback, so you can now purchase all nine issues together—plus pinups and such—for the low, low price of $29.99. It is incredibly easy to follow, fun, compelling, action-packed—a little bloody, though, so don't buy it for your 7-year-old—,overall a fantastic read.

Here's a short list of what to expect: Hulk babies; 50-story skeletons; mild superhero cosplay; Ultron as a loving husband and father figure; cannibalistic moloids; Venom T-Rex. In case you missed that last one, allow me to repeat myself: VENOM T-REX. Well played, Millar. Steve McNiven does an excellent job of making a clearly unrealistic world look frighteningly real. Old Man Logan looks, well, old. The rednecks look gross and hillbillyesque, the dinosaurs look very dinosaury. It's a very attractive book, I must say. This isn't my new favorite comic book story, not by a long shot, but it was very enjoyable. I mostly would've liked to see the world a little more. There were maps and references and all kinds of fun little goodies that alluded to the great war against the superheroes, but there wasn't enough actual content to satisfy me. You find out what turned Wolverine into a pacifist, but you don't get to see what the stories of very many other heroes. Millar, McNiven, if you do a sequel, I'd really like to know what happened to Squirrel Girl.


Old Man Logan
by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

The plot is strong, but the characterization is really only there for Wolverine. There's also that huge gap in the backstory that, while it isn't the story Millar was trying to tell, is hard to ignore.

For there being so many of this dystopian future kind of thing just in Marvel alone (Earth X, Future Imperfect, Days of Future Past), I'm impressed that Millar was able to keep it interesting. I really do hope he writes a sequel someday.

It's a great story, well-told, with a lot of fun moments. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but you will definitely have a good time with this book. Highly recommended for sheer enjoyment factor.


Keep reading, Genoshans!

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